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Fernando Alonso fastest in German Grand Prix practice

Sebastian Vettel

Highlights - German Grand Prix second practice

German Grand Prix, 23-25 July, Hockenheim
Coverage: Live on BBC One, Red Button, BBC Sport website and Radio 5 live Full details of practice, qualifying and Sunday's race

By Marc Vesty

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was quickest in the second practice session at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

The Spaniard traded fastest laps with the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel, who was second, and Mark Webber who was fourth - behind Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Lewis Hamilton crashed his McLaren in first practice and only had 12 minutes' running in the second session after repairs but was still seventh.

Jenson Button, second in the points behind team-mate Hamilton, was 15th.

Wet weather in the first session created havoc for the drivers and ended with Force India's Adrian Suitil, one of six Germans aiming for victory at their home circuit, leading the way.

However, the second practice session provided the teams with a mostly-dry circuit to test themselves on, in contrast to the rain-soaked drama of the first - resulting in the top four finishing with only 0.32 seconds separating them.

JONATHAN LEGARD BLOG

The dry surface also appeared to suit seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher who improved dramatically in the second session, finishing sixth having being the second slowest in the morning.

However, Schumacher, a four-time winner at Hockenheim, was still behind team-mate Nico Rosberg, who ended the session with the fifth fastest lap.

With such a tight field Hispania's Karun Chandhok told BBC Radio 5 live: "There are three teams, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren, all in contention for pole position here."

With most cars running wide at certain points as well as several spins-offs in the earlier wet conditions, the changeable weather could have a major part to play in qualifying on Saturday (1300 BST) - with strategy likely to be vital.

Button said: "This morning was pretty wet, I suppose useful because there is the possibility of some good rain tomorrow.

"We don't have a very good set-up in the wet though, we changed the car over the break and this afternoon it felt a lot better than this morning. "

I was a little bit upset with myself as you see the guys work so hard during the week then you do only a few laps and you total the car

Lewis Hamilton

It was Hamilton, a winner the last time the German GP was at Hockenheim in 2008, who was worst affected by the rain as he smashed his McLaren into a tyre wall - telling his team over the radio: "I'm in the wall, the car is damaged. Heavily."

The subsequent work to repair his car, which was badly damaged on all corners, meant the Englishman's time in second practice was limited.

Hamilton said: "I damaged the car quite heavily this morning but the guys have done an incredible job.

"I was a little bit upset with myself as you see the guys work so hard during the week then you do only a few laps and you total the car."

After struggling with their upgrades during the practice sessions at the British Grand Prix, both McLarens again trialled their new blown diffuser - the upgrade abandoned at Silverstone, which increases downforce and therefore cornering speed.

And Hamilton said the team would be sticking with the diffuser for Saturday's practice session.

Lewis Hamilton spins out at Hockenheim

Hamilton hammers wall in first practice

"We are going to continue to use it and get some good information on it and try to improve it," said Hamilton.

"It's definitely not perfect - it's not something you just put on and just drive with the original balance of the car, you have to change the balance a bit.

"And also your driving has to change a little bit because when you get on power you should have quite a lot more downforce and it's how you use that I guess."

Meanwhile, after the controversy at Silverstone, where Vettel was given a new front wing from Webber's car, both drivers ran with their old front wings in Germany - the one that Webber won the British Grand Prix with.

But Red Bull expect both drivers to have a new wing in place for the third practice session and qualifying on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Renault's Robert Kubica was eighth while the Williams duo of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg were ninth and 10th.

Hispania's Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto filled the bottom two spots, the latter 6.801secs adrift of Alonso.

Highlights - German GP first practice

Highlights - German GP first practice



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see also
German Grand Prix practice results
24 Feb 10 |  Results
Button worried about rivals' pace
23 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
German GP practice in photos
23 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
German GP practice as it happened
23 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Friday's F1 gossip column
23 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher targets 2011 F1 title
22 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren confident over upgrades
22 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren to abandon major upgrade
09 Jul 10 |  Formula 1


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